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Rana held not guilty in Mumbai attacks, guilty of aiding LeT

By The Assam Tribune

CHICAGO, June 10 (IANS): In a surprise verdict, a US jury cleared Pakistan-born Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana of charges he helped with the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks but convicted him of helping Lashkar-e-Taiba, held responsible for the carnage.

He was also convicted by a jury in federal court here Thursday for his role in a thwarted plot targeting a Danish newspaper that printed controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad sparking protests in the Muslim world.

Rana, who was accused of letting convicted Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley, aka Daood Gilani, to use his immigration business, First World Immigration Services, as a cover to scout targets for the deadly plots, faces up to 30 years in prison for the two guilty counts.

US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said he was gratified with the guilty verdicts but disappointed that Rana was not found guilty in connection with the more serious charge of assisting in the Mumbai attacks, according to Chicago Sun Times.

"Tahawwur Rana provided valuable cover and support to David Headly, knowing that Headley and others were plotting attacks overseas," Todd Hinnen, acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, said in a statement issued after the verdicts.

Rana had little reaction to the verdict, but his family wept quietly and hung their heads, Chicago Tribune said.

Outside the courtroom, Rana's attorneys, Charles Swift and Patrick Blegen, said Rana was in shock, Sun Times said. They said they were very disappointed with the two guilty verdicts, but said they were glad he was not found guilty in helping the Mumbai seige.

After the trial, jurors told Judge Harry Leinenweber that they did not want to make any public comments, the judge said.

Headley, Washington born son of a Pakistani diplomat and an American mother and Rana met at an elite military school in Pakistan.

Rana joined the Pakistani military, became a doctor and married a doctor. Rana later deserted the military in search of a better life and became a Canadian citizen. He and his family later moved to Chicago, where he opened several businesses.

Headley returned to the US at age 17. He legally changed his given name of Daood Gilani so that he would draw less suspicion while travelling to scout targets for the Mumbai attacks and the Danish plot.

During the two week trial, prosecution's star witness Headley, who has pleaded guilty for his roles in the Mumbai attacks and the Denmark plot, claimed that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and LeT separately gave him identical instructions for scouting locations for the Mumbai attack.

"They coordinated with each other," Headley said, describing what he believed to be a cosy relationship between LeT and the Pakistani spy agency.

"ISI provided assistance to Lashkar" through military and financial assistance and moral support, he continued.

Headley also said he met with Ilyas Kashmiri, believed to be a senior Al Qaeda member to discuss an attack on the offices of Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)

Rana held not guilty in Mumbai attacks, guilty of aiding LeT

CHICAGO, June 10 (IANS): In a surprise verdict, a US jury cleared Pakistan-born Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana of charges he helped with the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks but convicted him of helping Lashkar-e-Taiba, held responsible for the carnage.

He was also convicted by a jury in federal court here Thursday for his role in a thwarted plot targeting a Danish newspaper that printed controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad sparking protests in the Muslim world.

Rana, who was accused of letting convicted Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley, aka Daood Gilani, to use his immigration business, First World Immigration Services, as a cover to scout targets for the deadly plots, faces up to 30 years in prison for the two guilty counts.

US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said he was gratified with the guilty verdicts but disappointed that Rana was not found guilty in connection with the more serious charge of assisting in the Mumbai attacks, according to Chicago Sun Times.

"Tahawwur Rana provided valuable cover and support to David Headly, knowing that Headley and others were plotting attacks overseas," Todd Hinnen, acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, said in a statement issued after the verdicts.

Rana had little reaction to the verdict, but his family wept quietly and hung their heads, Chicago Tribune said.

Outside the courtroom, Rana's attorneys, Charles Swift and Patrick Blegen, said Rana was in shock, Sun Times said. They said they were very disappointed with the two guilty verdicts, but said they were glad he was not found guilty in helping the Mumbai seige.

After the trial, jurors told Judge Harry Leinenweber that they did not want to make any public comments, the judge said.

Headley, Washington born son of a Pakistani diplomat and an American mother and Rana met at an elite military school in Pakistan.

Rana joined the Pakistani military, became a doctor and married a doctor. Rana later deserted the military in search of a better life and became a Canadian citizen. He and his family later moved to Chicago, where he opened several businesses.

Headley returned to the US at age 17. He legally changed his given name of Daood Gilani so that he would draw less suspicion while travelling to scout targets for the Mumbai attacks and the Danish plot.

During the two week trial, prosecution's star witness Headley, who has pleaded guilty for his roles in the Mumbai attacks and the Denmark plot, claimed that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and LeT separately gave him identical instructions for scouting locations for the Mumbai attack.

"They coordinated with each other," Headley said, describing what he believed to be a cosy relationship between LeT and the Pakistani spy agency.

"ISI provided assistance to Lashkar" through military and financial assistance and moral support, he continued.

Headley also said he met with Ilyas Kashmiri, believed to be a senior Al Qaeda member to discuss an attack on the offices of Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper.

Similar Posts

— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)